Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reacts to Dallas shooting

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. — The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is standing with Dallas and offering thoughts and prayers to those affected.

“Heartbroken. Sad. Angry. Just all those emotions rolled into one. Just a terrible day for law enforcement,” Captain Butch Askew said.

Askew spent Friday reflecting on the events in Dallas.

It’s something his employees are thinking about as well.

“It’s a dangerous profession and you’re putting your life on the line, often times, to protect others… to protect someone you don’t even know. That’s a heavy burden for the individual officer, family members, their friends and acquaintances,” Askew said.

The 25-year sheriff’s office veteran says the job is difficult because when deputies respond to calls, they never know what to expect.

“You have to be vigilant. You have to prepared at all times. There are people out there that want to hurt you. If you feel uneasy about a situation, you can ask for more units,” Askew said.

With the shooting deaths of two black men being seen all over social media this week, Askew says people shouldn’t rush to judgement about the police.

“Everybody has a camera. Sometimes, that’s what comes out first, the video. Number one, we don’t have the facts, so I’m hesitant to offer my opinion on any of those things,” Askew said.

Despite the public’s opinion on how police might treat minority groups, Askew says the CCSO teaches all deputies to treat everyone the same.

“It’s not just black lives. It’s not blue lives. It’s all lives truly matter. I think all lives are important and that is the philosophy we want all of our deputies to understand. We want to treat people equal, with respect and safety,” Askew said.

The sheriff’s captain says if you ever see a deputy or an officer, stop them, thank them and shake their hand because it goes a long way.

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